march class schedule

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This month is a little hectic for me, so I will have limited classes. However I would love to teach a weekly series on portraiture and figure drawing for jr. high age kids on their early day if I have enough students interested. We would start next week on Wednesday at 2:00 and have weekly class until June. Let me know if you are interested! ($40/month)

Friday 3/17 2:00-4:00 ($25)
Sculpture
We will explore different types of clay and create miniature figurines as well as clay sculptures.

Friday 3/24 2:00-4:00 ($20)
Mixed Media Collage
We will learn how to best combine paper, paint, markers and textiles to enhance the story told in our art.

march’s artist: gustav klimt

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Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 near Vienna, Austria. He was the second of seven children in an artistic family. His mother loved music and his father was a gold engraver. His brothers were also artistic and they were encouraged to develop their skill as children. In his teens, Gustav went to art school with his brothers and formed a group called the “Company of Artists” with another friend and the 4 teens had great success doing murals in public buildings and aiding better known artists in their work.
In 1892, Gustav’s father and brother both died, which had a great effect on his work. He became the chief support for his family. His turned to the much more stylized look that he would become famous for. This is also the time that he met Emilie Louise Flöge, who was his life-long love and companion. (The painting “The Kiss” is of them.) Emilie was a fashion designer and they would work closely together, influencing each other’s art for the rest of their lives. He would help design her costumes. If you look at his paintings with this in mind, you can see the influence of fashion, as well as the textural quality—almost like fabric on the clothing. Gustav had 14 children.
Gustav Klimt enjoyed mush success and notoriety in his life. The government in Vienna was nurturing to the arts and he was appointed the as the president of a government supported group that encouraged the arts and sought to bring new artists to Vienna. Interestingly, there was no manifesto—this wasn’t an art movement, per se. They encouraged all of the different styles and everyone worked and exhibited together. While Klimt’s work was often in limelight, he himself was a quiet and reclusive figure. He painted deliberately with great attention to detail and worked hard. While he collaborated with many other artists on projects, he did not like to socialize with many people. He worked day and night and rarely spent time with people outside of his family.
Just like his personality, Gustav Klimt’s work can seem contradictory. His figure paintings are boldly geometrical and patterned contrasted with ethereal highly detailed brushwork on the people themselves. His landscapes have a similar, very refined quality and did not include the use of gold leaf like his figure paintings did.

Today we are going to try our hand at incorporating metallic elements into a painting. Since this project could get a little complicated, there will be a simple example and a more detailed example. For grades kindergarten-second, just show the simple example.

1. Very lightly, sketch out your design.
2. Decide where to put the foil and cut out the basic shape, then lay it down on the paper and trim as needed.
3. Carefully, glue the back of the foil with the glue stick. Hold the top with your finger and move in one direction. Press lightly, it is easy to tear the foil.
4. Put the foil on the paper and smooth down. Glue any edges that need it.
5. Water color the rest of the picture.

art classes for february

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We will have 3 art classes this February. Please send me a message if you are interested in joining! I am excited to really focus in on perspective with your artists as well as work in some fun new media!
Friday Feb. 10th -2:00-4:00p- Perspective Study
We will learn about perspective and how to create a realistic sense of depth and space in our drawings. Students will use a few different types of media to explore and practice this vital skill. This class will be geared to students 10 years old and younger.

Wednesday Feb. 15th -2:00-4:00p- Perspective Study
We will learn about perspective and how to create a realistic sense of depth and space in our drawings. Students will use a few different types of media to explore and practice this vital skill. This class will be geared to students over 11 years old.

Saturday Feb. 25th -1:30-3:30p- Artist Study: Ted Harrison
We will take a look at the art of Ted Harrison and then learn how to effectively use chalk pastels to create our own stylized pictures. Students will explore different finishes that can be created with this fun medium.

february’s artist: dmitri prigov

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Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov was a poet, graphic artist, sculptor, creator of installations, performance artist, and philosopher during the tumultuous 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Prigov is one of the most famous figures of the “unofficial art” the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was born on November 5, 1940 in Moscow. His father was an engineer and his mother a pianist. After school, he spent two years working in a factory as a metalworker. As a teen in 1956, Prigov started writing poetry which was the medium he was most active in throughout his life. In 1966, he graduated as a sculptor from the Higher Industrial Art School.

From 1966–1974, he worked for the Moscow city architectural department as an inspector overseeing the painting of building and projects in municipal parks. During this time he developed an affiliation with other underground artist and poets. During Communist rule in Russia, recognized artists were very restricted in what they could produce. This time was very different from what we are used to. In the United States, people can say what they want; artists can paint whatever subject they like. During Prigov’s early career, this was not the case. The few artists that were supported by the state were told what to depict. This is part of what makes Dmitri Prigov such an interesting person. He challenged the commonly accepted beliefs and was one of the creators of the underground art movement. He was even briefly imprisoned for his work.

As an artist, Prigov was drawn to everything fragile, he liked using material like newspapers — which he considered a metaphor for human beings with a perishable body but filled with ideas and thoughts to create his art installations. (An installation is like a life size scene that uses everyday objects and that is, itself, the piece of art. For example in the pictures on the cart there is an arrangement of newspapers with the word “Glasnost” painted on them. Glasnost is the policy of more open sharing of information with the public that was instituted by the new government after the fall of the Communism. *Take a moment to talk about this picture with the older students. Consider Prigov’s use of newspaper to represent the fragility of humans and the bold way Glasnost is painted over the top. What do they think Prigov was trying to say?* This is usually what art installations (Which are a more modern art form) are usually about…making a statement and causing the viewer to think about a subject in a new way.

Dmitri Progov’s art was more about getting ideas and messages across to the viewer than being beautiful and artistic. He considered himself first a philosopher and used all of his different talents together to convey his message. For example, he would do several drawings of an idea or installation, and they would be part of the art. Then he would set up a scene from one of those drawings and often he would have someone film him reading his poetry in the scene. You can see how this creates several different pieces that are all part of the whole idea. Using so many different techniques is very impressive in itself!

Dmitri created interesting ways to record his poetry. Sometimes he cut out lines and stapled, taped, and glued them into interesting designs. He also made little books whose shapes added to part of the story or poem inside. Today we are going to do our own shaped books. While we are talking, think about a favorite story or make one up. You could also create a poem. Poems are often more threads of ideas or images than a fully formed story. (For the older grades, read Prigov’s poem below. It will be a little above what 2nd graders and bellow can really understand.) Think about your favorite things… like springtime, winter, fall or summer or an activity you like to do. Think about a shape that will help tell the story or show one of the important parts of it and cut your papers into that shape. Show the students the example and walk through the books to help them see how to do it:
1. Plan your story and design. Decide how many pages you will need.
2. Stack the pages together (up to about 4) and lightly draw the design then cut them out together. If you have more pages, you will need to cut the first batch then trace one of the papers onto the top paper of the second batch.
3. Trace the stack of papers onto the cover sheet of colored paper, giving a little extra room for an edge.
4. Write your story/poem on the pages and illustrate where desired, then staple everything together.

Unnamed Poem by Dmitri Prigov

It’s not important the recorded milk production
Cannot be compared to the real milk production
Everything that’s recorded is recorded in the heavens
And if it will come to be not in two or three days
Nevertheless it’s really important when it will
And in some high sense it’s already come true
And in some low sense everything will be forgotten
And it’s nearly been forgotten already
-Dmitri Prigov

january’s artist: anna mary moses

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Anna Mary Moses was born on September 7, 1860 on a farm in Greenwich, NY. She was one of 10 children and she left home to work on a nearby farm at age 12. She showed an interest in art at an early age and was even given a set of chalk and crayons by one of the families she worked for who noticed her interest. During her limited time at school she relished art classes. However, she never spent much time with art. One can imagine that earlier American farming life was a lot of difficult work and didn’t leave much time for pursuing hobbies.

At age 27, she married Thomas Moses and began a farm and family of her own, having 5 children that survived infancy (10 pregnancies total). Anna Mary was known for adding an artist touch to everyday life. She painted items in their home and embroidered and quilted. After Thomas died of a heart attack, she passed the farm onto one of her sons and began to paint with her spare time. A local grocery store hung her paintings. An art collector noticed them one day and bought them, leading to her first solo showing when she was 80 years old. People loved the vibrant depictions of “old time” country life. She was called Grandma or Mother Moses by those who knew her and soon the press also picked up this name. Over the next three decades, she would produce over 1500 canvases and her work would be reproduced and printed on tiles, fabrics, ceramic and used to advertise various household products. Grandma Moses painted crowded and busy panoramas in vivd colors that gave a happy view of a simpler time. She never received any formal education and is a great example of how anyone can become an artist, no matter your education or age. Anna Mary Moses died at the age of 101.

Look over the prints with the students (there are explanations of what each scene is showing printed on the back of the pictures to help with this). Point out the busy and detailed scenes. It is these details that make her paintings so interesting. They draw the viewer into a scene that they might have no experience with, but make them feel at home like they belong there. Notice perspective isn’t super important here. The lack of training gave her paintings a stylized look. Today we are going to make our scenes like Grandma Moses. Think of something your family likes to do, a time of year or holiday and all of the things that go on during that time or maybe a vacation you have taken and enjoyed. Now map out all of the activities in your picture. Use the colored pencils to make it vibrant and interesting and don’t forget to add the details that will make your viewer feel like they are there!

peter paul reubens

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Peter Paul Reubens was born on June 28, 1577 in a city near Antwerp, Belgium. His father was a leader in the Calvinist (Protestant) faith and his mother was strongly Catholic in a time of great religious upheaval in Europe. Growing up in such a religious environment led Reubens to be a deeply religious man. He became a voice in the Catholic church and many of his paintings depict religious subjects. Reubens entered an apprenticeship at age 14, where he learned primarily by copying works of the masters. He graduated and gained master status, then moved to Italy to continue his studies. After eight years, he returned to Antwerp and set up a thriving studio with several artists working under him. Reubens became a leading Flemish painter for altar-pieces and religious scenes as well as portraits done for noble families.

His work was quite stylized and illustrates a lot of the popular opinions of the day. He favored using robust and curvy women (usually nudes) for scenes to show his views of women as lesser to men in social standing, as well as virtuous, fertile and beautiful. Men on the other hand, were shown as extremely muscular and usually in athletic, aggressive poses, showing his views of men as capable, forceful and powerful. He included a lot of symbolism in his paintings as well as religious references, even in his portraits. (This style preference has lead to the term Reubenesque to describe someone who is chubby.) Reubens is also known for his luminous style to painting. The faces almost seem to shine, he did this show the spiritual light coming from within.

Today we will try creating a portrait in a style like Reubens. By using chalk on a darker background, we can get a similar luminescence (or the look of light shining) from the face you will draw.  Have the students pair up to draw portraits of each other. Teach these tips to get a realistic portrait.

  1. Make a large oval and draw a light line down the center or slightly to the left or right with your pencil. (From forehead to chin.) You can do it however your partner is sitting, but it will look more natural if the person is looking a bit to the side rather than straight on.
  2. Now lightly draw another line across (ear to ear) about halfway down the face. It is best to give it a little bit of curve as well.
  3. Now draw the eyes with the base on the line.
  4. Divide the lower half evenly into thirds (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) make the bottom of the nose on the first line. You can do this by making a shallow “u” and then upside down “u”s on each side.
  5. Finally sketch in the lips on the bottom line.
  6. Now take the chalk and shade and fill in the face and the features, including hair.
  7. When the portrait is complete, let the students bring them to you or the teacher and spray them very lightly with a bit of hairspray from about 6 inches away. This will help set the chalk so it doesn’t smear.

november’s artist: katsushika hokusai

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Katsushika Hokusai was believed to be born on October 30, 1760 in Edo Japan (which is now Tokyo, Japan). The records from this period are scarce and not very clear, but he is thought to be the son of an artisan that made mirrors for the Shogun, who is a local military leader. At age 12, Hokusai was sent to apprentice with a bookmaker and he became very skilled at the woodblock carvings which were used to make illustrated books for the upper classes. His master, Shunshō was an artist of ukiyo-e, one of many different styles of woodblock prints that were used at this time. Often the prints were of Kabuki actors or Courtesan and generally used for entertainment. Hokusai eagerly searched for new techniques from other schools in the area and even studied works from as far away as France and Denmark. He was expelled from Shunsho’s school after the master died and it was taken over by a rival student. He said later that this was the cataylist for his artistic growth. “What really motivated the development of my artistic style was the embarrassment I suffered at Shunkō’s hands.” Hokusai went on to take his skill above the general artisan level to that of a true master, developing new techniques and creating images that are still reproduced and popular today. He moved away from the popular subject matter of courtesans and Kabuki actors to landscapes and images of daily life for people of different classes. Throughout this time, Hokusai changed his name several times, which was a common practice for artisans in Japan in the 1700-1800s.
By the time Hokusai was in his early 50s, he enjoyed fame and success. He took this time to write a serious of art instruction books. As well as cartoon-like books which he called Manga. These would heavily influence comic books as they are today. (Anime is also known as Manga today.) After this period, he changed his name to “Gakyō Rōjin Manji” (The Old Man Mad About Art) and did many of the works that are famous today, including “One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji”. Hokusai was constantly seeking to produce better work, it is said that on his deathbed he exclaimed: “If only Heaven will give me just another ten years… Just another five more years, then I could become a real painter.” He died on May 10, 1849 at the age of 89.

Today we will make our own carvings. It takes so many hours and a lot of skill and practice to carve wood. We will try out cork which is a lot softer, but still a bit tricky. Please really emphasize the need to be careful with the nails to the students. I have done this in an after-school program and the kids loved it, but we will need to keep a close eye to make sure everyone is safe. We will be using nails, please emphasize how sharp they are and how important it is to be very careful with them.

1. Lightly draw your initial or a very basic design with pencil on the top of the cork. Keep it simple! Remember straight lines are easier than curved ones.

2. Next you will carefully use the nail to press into the area and indent the initial or design. I find it easiest to use the nail to make dots along the line, then scrape to connect them.

3. Finally, press your stamp onto the stamp pads to load them with ink and press onto the paper.

october’s artist: joan miro

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Biography:

Joan Miro was born in Barcelona on April 20, 1893. His dad was a goldsmith and was very strict. He didn’t want Joan to become an artist; but his mother evened out his father’s harsh manner and encouraged him in his art. He started drawing lessons at age 7 and continued to art school as a young adult. This greatly dismayed his father and he enrolled in business as well. He worked as a clerk for a little while, but was so unhappy that he had a nervous breakdown. Afterwards he pursued his art full time, joining the Surrealist movement. The Surrealists use symbolism and imagery to create a dream-like work. He also pioneered the grattage technique (where you scrape through a layer of paint to create the image.)

Along with paintings, he created tapestries, sculptures and even did some work in architecture. Miro believed in departing from the usual methods of painting. He despised the typical stiff approach and rigid formulas of much of the art world. He believed in experimenting and trying everything he could think of. He painted with brooms, walked on canvases and even set them on fire! He said “I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.” Miro wanted his art to pinch and prod people. He wanted to create a strong reaction whether that it was good or bad didn’t really matter to him. Miro died of hear failure at home in Spain on December 25, 1983.

Take a look through Miro’s paintings together. Ask the students how the paintings make them feel. Do you think this is happy or sad? What do you think Miro was painting about? Explain that these are abstract paintings. Meaning they aren’t meant to look exactly like something in real life. Usually artists do have a real life object or scene they are drawing inspiration from though. What do you think inspired Miro for any of these paintings?

Project:

Today we will try out a mixed-media painting in Miro’s style. Mixed media means that we are using more than one type of material to make our piece of art.

1. First take a few a seconds to draw a squiggle on your paper. You could close your eyes if you want or just make a quick set of loops and swoops.

2. Now take a look at it and see if you can find a picture in there. Use the markers to go over the lines and add details to make the picture come to life. Remember with abstract art, it doesn’t have to “Look like anything”!

3. Use the water colors to fill in large background blobs of color if you’d like.

it’s time for summer day camps

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I am so excited for this year’s day camps! We had a great time last year and I look forward to sharpening skills and creating fun things with your kids!
Each camp will run from 11:00am to 3:30pm and will Include lunch. (Please let me know if your child has a food allergy.) All supplies are included.
Cost is $45.00 per child per class.
A $5.00 discount will be given for enrollment in multiple classes.
Observers full course $175/ Masters full course $210
*Class sizes are limited and subject to cancellation for lack of enrollment.

Observers (ages 5-8)         
Plein Air Painting June 20th
Jewelry June 27th
Graphic Techniques July 12th
Puppets July 19th
Color Theory August 9th

 

Masters (ages 9+)
Plein Air Painting June 22nd
Jewelry June 29th
Graphic Techniques July 14th
Puppets July 21st
Master Class Bootcamp August 3rd
Color Theory August 11th

 

Plein Air Painting
We will head to Wheeler Farm to learn the skills needed to work rapidly outside, we will study landscapes as well as how to draw/paint animals.

Jewelry
We will explore the different methods used to make jewelry and create our own pieces; working with wire, clay, leather, and beads and paper.

Graphic Techniques
We will learn techniques used in comics, anime, and cartoons to create an action packed illustration. Then create our own graphic storyboard and/or novel.

Puppets
We will look at the wide variety of methods to creating puppets from marionettes to finger puppets and even the Muppets. Then we will make our own characters using several different techniques. At the end of the day, we will talk about scripting and story basics and put on puppet shows for our classmates.

Master Class Bootcamp
This camp is a spot for more experienced artists to perfect their work and learn new techniques. Bring a project you are working on for help as well as starting a new piece in class. Media will vary.

Color Theory
We will work with several different mediums (some even edible!) to explore the color wheel and how to mix and tint different colors. We will learn how to best use the color wheel to set the toe and feel for a painting. We will then compose our own painting on Gesso board.

Click here to email your name, child’s name and age, and phone number to enroll.

may’s artist: berthe morisot

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Full Biography:

Berthe Morisot was born January 14, 1841, in Bourges, France. Her father was a high-ranking government official and her grandfather was an influential Rococo painter. She and her sister Edma began painting as young girls and earned recognition despite not being allowed to attend any official art institutions (which weren’t open to women).

Berthe and Edma traveled to Paris to study and copy works by the Old Masters at the Louvre Museum as well as learn how to paint outdoor scenes. Here she exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1864 and would continue to have a regular place in the show for the next 10 years.

In 1868, fellow artist Henri Fantin-Latour introduced Berthe Morisot to Edouard Manet. The two formed a lasting friendship and greatly influenced one another’s work. She joined the Impressionist movement and eventually left the Salon to show with her friends. (Think of the Impressionists at the Indie painters of the late 1800s.)

In 1874, Berthe Morisot married Manet’s younger brother, Eugne, also a painter. The marriage provided her with social and financial stability while she continued to pursue her painting career. Able to dedicate herself wholly to her craft, Morisot participated in the Impressionist exhibitions every year except 1877, when she was pregnant with her daughter.

Berthe Morisot portrayed a wide range of subjects—from landscapes and still lifes to domestic scenes and portraits. She also experimented with numerous media, including oils, watercolors, pastels, and drawings.

After her husband died in 1892, Berthe Morisot continued to paint, although she was never commercially successful during her lifetime. She did, however, outsell several of her fellow Impressionists, including Monet, Renoir, and Sisley. Berthe Morisot contracted pneumonia and died on March 2, 1895, at age 54.

Berthe Morisot was the model of a modern woman, a century early. She held her own in a world dominated by men; all while successfully having a family just like so many women strive to do today. Manet said of her: “This woman is an exceptional painter. Too bad she isn’t a man.”

Simplified Biography:

Berthe Morisot was born January 14, 1841, in Bourges, France to a comfortable middle class family. Her grandfather was a famous painter and her family appreciated art. She and her sister Edma were given private painting lessons all growing up and were even well known artists despite the fact that women weren’t allowed to publicly show their art or attend the art schools.
Berthe joined, and was an influential artist in the Impressionist movement. She married the younger brother of a famous Impressionist painter and had a little girl. She continued to focus on her art all through her life, even though it was uncommon for a woman to be more than a hobby painter in the 1800s. She died quite young of pneumonia. This combined with the fact that she was a woman, so she didn’t have as many opportunities as an artist, means that we don’t have many of her paintings. But we can see her influence on this important movement in art.

Project:

Why do you think they called them the Impressionists? If you look at her paintings, you can see how the brushstrokes are very loose and not detailed. Impressionists painted quickly– just giving you the impression of the subject. Today we are going to experiment with this style. Monet (that we studied in December) was also an Impressionist.
Berthe Morisot was an adventurous artist. She was known for mixing media (media is what we use to make the art…paint, clay, crayons, pencil, etc.) Today we are going to do the same thing.

1. Think of your subject. Many Impressionists painted everyday scenes; such as Morisot’s laundry hung out to dry or a mother at her baby’s cradle.

2. Now quickly sketch the main details with the pastels. Don’t worry about getting too detailed…just give the impression.

3. Use the thickened or Impasto paint and the paint textured with sand to put in some broad stokes and add dimension to your piece. Use loose fast strokes. Don’t overwork the paint or you will loose the texture.

4. (Find a place to set them to dry…these will take a little longer to dry.)